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There are few places where terroir truly affects production but Château Haut-Bailly is definitely one of those. Château Haut-Bailly has a distinctive style that harmoniously combines classicism with modernity, elegance, finesse and softness with structure. The silky smoothness of the tannins echoes the elegant yet complex aromas.
Château Haut-Bailly has great ageing potential and consistently wins praise from experts who agree that it offers complex pleasure and a richness that is neither aggressive nor ostentatious. These are natural qualities which Haut-Bailly is determined to keep.
Each year the team at Château Haut-Bailly works hard at developing the quality of the wines without interfering with nature. Since 1998, thanks to even more stringent selection controls, the wine has gained a greater depth and precision.
The 2012 vintage plays like a foxtrot – in four defined steps… First, following a cold dry winter, a cool, wet spring made the flowering process difficult and threatened some of the Merlot vines with “coulure”. Then, as cool temperatures persisted until the beginning of July, we kept an extra careful eye on the vineyard and fought the onset of diseases (mildiou, oïdium). The team remained on hand throughout the summer. A third step would be the month of August with the advantage of wide temperature ranges with hot days - as sunny as in 2000 or 2009 - and cool nights. All which favour the synthesis of anthocyanin. Traditional tilling of the soil allowed better management of hydric stress.
Finally, at the end of a summer-like month of September, a few millimetres of rain on September 25th and 26th helped to re-kindle the ripening of the grapes, which led to the sublimation of the fruity character of the skins and the softness of the tannins. The harvest started when the phenological maturity (tannins) caught up with the technical maturity (sugar, acidity). The Merlots were picked in ideal conditions. The weekend of October 7th was especially hot and wet, causing us to quicken the pace and pick the Cabernets before the return of the rain. The Merlots were pleasant and full of charm. The Old Vines delivered splendid Cabernets, typical of the great terroir of Haut-Bailly. Fruity, fresh and dense, the 2012 vintage has tight tannins and expresses the virtuosity of Haut-Bailly.